Protestor with a denim jacket, bullhorn, and raised fist in front of a crowd.

Human Rights

| Riverton Free Library

Accountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed by Dashka Slater
When a high school student started a private Instagram account that used racist and sexist memes to make his friends laugh, he thought of it as "edgy" humor. Over time, the edge got sharper. Pretty soon, everyone knew about the account. Ultimately no one in the small town of Albany, California, was safe from the repercussions of the account's discovery. In the end, no one was laughing. And everyone was left asking: Where does accountability end for online speech that harms? And what does accountability even mean?"

Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World by Frederick Joseph
From the devastations of climate change to the horrors of gun violence, from rampant transphobia to the widening wealth gap, from the lack of health care to the lack of housing, the challenges facing the next generation can feel insurmountable. But change, even revolution, is possible; you just have to know where to start. Covering 16 topics and featuring more than two dozen interviews with prominent activists, authors, actors, and politicians, this is the essential resource for those who want to make the world better than we found it.

Black Birds in the Sky by Brandy Colbert
In the early morning of June 1, 1921, an armed white mob marched across the train tracks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and into its predominantly Black Greenwood District – a thriving, affluent neighborhood known as America's Black Wall Street. In a few short hours, they'd razed 35 square blocks to the ground, leaving hundreds dead. The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in US history. But how did it come to pass? What exactly happened? And why are the events unknown to so many of us today?

The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph
Writing from the perspective of a friend, Frederick Joseph offers candid reflections on his own experiences with racism and conversations with prominent artists and activists about theirs – creating an essential read for white people who are committed anti-racists and those newly come to the cause of racial justice. Each chapter features the voice of at least one well-known artist or activist.

Into the Streets by Marke Bieschke
Throughout our nation's history, discrimination and unjust treatment of all kinds have prompted people to make their objections and outrage known. Discover the artwork, music, fashion, and creativity of these activists. Meet the leaders of these movements and learn about the protests that helped to shape the United States from all sides of the political spectrum.

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell; artwork by Shadra Strickland
Written in blank verse, this is the story of Mildred Loving, an African-American girl, and Richard Loving, a Caucasian boy, who challenge the Virginia law forbidding interracial marriages in the 1950s. 

Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee
When Savannah Howard is accepted to the ivy-covered walls of Wooddale University on a full ride, how can she say no? But she discovers Wooddale is far from the perfectly manicured community it sells on its brochures. Savannah comes face-to-face with microaggressions stemming from racism and elitism. When she discovers the truth about Wooddale's past, will it cost Savannah her own future?

The Silence that Binds Us by Joanna Ho
In the year following their son's death, May Chen's parents face racist accusations of putting too much pressure on their son and causing his death by suicide. May attempts to challenge the racism and ugly stereotypes through her writing, only to realize that she still has a lot to learn and that her actions have consequences for her family as well as herself.                            

Steal this Country by Alexandra Styron
This irreverent and informative primer on how to make a difference is organized into three sections: The Why, The What, and The How. The book opens with a personal essay and a historic look at civil disobedience and teenage activism in America. That's followed by a deep dive into several key issues: climate change, racial justice, women's rights, LGBTQIA rights, immigration, religious understanding, and intersectionality. The book's final section is packed with how-to advice on ways to engage, from group activities to individual actions.

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets by Gayle E. Pitman
This book is about the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ Movement.

The Sum of Us: How Racism Hurts Everyone: Adapted for Young Readers by Heather McGhee
The author examines how damaging racism is not only to people of color but also to white people. An expert in economic policy, McGhee draws lessons from her work running a think tank and her travels around the country talking to everyday Americans who are coming together to fight for a more just and inclusive society.

This Town is on Fire by Pamela N. Harris
Naomi and Kylie are such close friends, they’re practically sisters. But then a video of Kylie calling the cops on two Black teens in a shopping store parking lot goes viral. Although Naomi wants to stand by her best friend, she now can't help but see everything in a different light. As tensions in her town escalate, Naomi finds herself engaging in protests that are on the cusp of being illegal. And then a bomb explodes, and someone is found dead. Will Naomi be caught in the center of the blast?                      

Unequal by Marc Favreau
The true story of racial inequality - and resistance to it - is the prologue to our present.
You can see it in where we live, where we go to school, where we work, in our laws, and in our leadership. This book presents a gripping account of the struggles that shaped America and the insidiousness of racism, and demonstrates how inequality persists. As readers meet some of the many African American people who dared to fight for a more equal future, they will also discover a framework for addressing racial injustice in their own lives.

The Vinyl Underground by Rob Rufus
In small-town Florida in 1968, four teens who bond over music and their objection to the Vietnam War decide to take a stand against the U.S. government and violent racism.           

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
Adapted for the YA audience with photos and journal entries, this memoir from one of the cofounders of the Black Lives Matter movement reflects on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Khan-Cullors' story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love.

Audience: Teens
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